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Another big day for Zoustar as Joliestar shines in the Thousand Guineas

Cambridge Stud-owned filly continues Widden Stud stallion’s wonderful spring with victory in the Caulfield Classic

Zoustar’s (Northern Meteor) incredible run of form continued apace at Caulfield yesterday, when his daughter Joliestar produced a scintillating display to win the Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) and in so doing became the Widden stallion’s seventh individual Group 1 winner. 

For the filly’s trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald it was their second consecutive win in the Classic, having landed it 12 months earlier with Madame Pommery (No Nay Never), while Waller’s first win in the Group 1 came in 2014 courtesy of Amicus (Fastnet Rock). 

Having only the fifth start of her career, the Cambridge Stud-owned filly showed no signs of inexperience, gaining the lead inside the final 200 metres, before pulling effortlessly away from her rivals to defeat the consistent Kimochi (Brave Smash) by a length and a half. Skybird (Exosphere) was another length away in third. 

Waller said after the race that the 1600-metre Classic had been the long-range plan for Joliestar, who was recording only her second win. However, she had signalled she was a stakes winner in the making when finishing second in both the Reginald Allen Quality (Listed, 1400m) and Desirable Stakes (Listed, 1400m).

“For a three-year-old filly it’s a pretty long-range plan,” Waller said. “She’s still only starting her career, but we did identify that she had ability right from the start. 

“The progression of good horses is a lot easier than average horses, it’s as simple as that. She’s done it herself. I’ve found the races, she’s turned up. 

“Steven Arnold does a lot of work for us and came and rode her on Tuesday morning and said she got around here well and said she was on the way up.”

The win was the fifth elite-level victory in four weeks for McDonald, having kicked off the spate of top-flight successes when partnering Romantic Warrior (Acclamation) to victory in the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28, before adding to his tally seven days later on Riff Rocket (American Pharoah) in the VRC Derby (Gr 1, 2500m).

His fine spring continued on Zardozi (Kingman) in the VRC Oaks (Gr 1, 2500m), on November 9, his first win in the Classic, following up that triumph when recording a win onboard Atishu (Savabeel) in the Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) last Saturday. 

With this latest success, McDonald’s total number of elite-level wins now stands at 86, with 32 of them coming onboard horses trained by Waller. 

“[Barrier one] was pivotal today,” the jockey said. “Especially on the circle track has been playing a little bit up and in that a few of the leaders have had, so we were grinning ear to ear walking out.

“She’s had a feeling about her that her whole preparation that she has kept improving and improving but she hasn’t been winning. 

“She hasn’t had a lot of luck so I thought today from barrier one she was going to get every chance.

“I wish the Melbourne Cup was that easy.”

Joliestar was bought by Brendan and Jo Lindsay of Cambridge Stud for $950,000 from the Segenhoe draft at the 2022 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and Brendan Lindsay, who having flown from New Zealand for a 24 hour hit-and-run mission to watch the race, described the filly as ‘special’. 

“We absolutely loved her and we’d been underbidder on three or four others throughout the day and when this filly came into the ring very late my wife said to me ‘I’m sick of this, we didn’t come here all day to not buy a horse, I’m not going home without her’ so we got her and what a bloody good decision that was,’’ Lindsay said.

“What a filly, she won bloody well, got a perfect run from James [McDonald] and it makes a big difference. Kiwi owners, kiwi jockey, kiwi trainer, not a bad combination!

“She’s a pretty special filly. Chris [Waller] said to us before the race that we’ve got something special on our hands and she just looked amazing in the parade and she won accordingly.’’

Bred by the Barhams, Joliestar (3 f Zoustar – Jolie Bay by Fastnet Rock) hails from their successful Legally Bay (Snippets) family, being out of the mare’s Group 2-winning and Group 1-placed daughter Jolie Bay (Fastnet Rock), who is also the dam of the stakes-placed duo God Of Thunder (More Than Ready) and Emperor (I Am Invincible). 

Chris Barham, who purchased Legally Bay, with his wife Jane, at the 2002 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $220,000 said he was delighted with yesterday’s result. 

“Amazing, what a win,’’ Barham said. “You know the beautiful thing? Great farm, great sale, great owners, great trainer, great jockey, everything just tips in her favour. It really is very exciting.

“She was the second-last lot through the ring on day 1 of Easter but Brendan and Jo [Lindsay] loved her and among others, so did John O’Shea but he just couldn’t keep bidding and Cambridge could, so they got her.”

As well as Jolie Bay, Legally Bay is also the dam of dual Group 1 winner and now Kooringal Stud-based sire Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock) and Listed winner Setanta (Fastnet Rock). 

The Barnham’s retained Jolie Bay’s two-year-old filly by Zoustar, who is named Legacy Bay and is in training with Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman. The mare produced another filly by Widden’s headline stallion this season. 

It has been a fine few weeks for Zoustar, who kicked off the Melbourne Cup carnival in style, when he sired his sixth individual Group 1 winner courtesy of Ozzmosis’s victory in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), while his daughter Mumbai Muse added to the stallion’s tally when she took out the Red Roses Staks (Gr 3, 1100m) on November 9. His smart colt Schwarz furthered the success when he triumphed in The Amanda Elliott (Listed, 1400m) last Saturday. 

The stallion also enjoyed a stakes winner across the Tasman when Habana was victorious in the Fulton Family Stakes (Listed, 1500m) on November 7. 

In winning yesterday’s Group 1, Joliestar became the second Group 1 winner by Zoustar out of a daughter of Fastnet Rock (Danehill), joining last year’s Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) scorer Zougotcha and they feature among six individual stakes winners bred on this cross.

Zoustar is standing at Widden for a career high fee of $220,000 (inc GST). 

Magic times it perfectly in Rupert Clarke

Yarraman Park resident Hellbent (I Am Invincible) enjoyed his biggest success since joining the stallion ranks when the Grahame Begg-trained Magic Time showed her class to win yesterday’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) at Caulfield, providing the stallion with his first Group 1 winner. 

The victory was no doubt a welcome tonic for Begg, who has endured a frustrating time of late, with his Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) hope Nonconformist (Rebel Raider) forced to be withdrawn on the eve of the race while his hopes of having a runner in the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) were dashed after Lunar Flare (Fiorente) sustained a careerending injury ten days before the big race at Flemington. 

“It’s been challenging to say the least. This is great,” Begg said after Magic Time’s win. 

Sent out the $4.80 favourite under Michael Dee, Magic Time scored by a length from I Am Me (I Am Invincible) with Strait Acer (Headwater) another neck away third. 

The four-year-old mare was lining up for her eighth start yesterday with the majority of her runs being in Sydney. 

Begg had the mare aimed at The Invitation (1400m) at Randwick last month, in which she finished third, and was planning a start in the Hot Danish Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday, but switched plans after rating yesterday’s Group 1 as the perfect race for her. 

“But I thought I’d bring her back, run her in the handicap with 53 [kilos] on her back,” Begg said. 

“I thought it was a great race for her. 1400 metres, good speed on, it was the right recipe for her, and she’s got the job done.” 

Begg admitted to concerns prior to the race with racing at Caulfield on Saturday favouring horses racing near the lead and near the fence. 

“I said to Michael to be positive out of the gates, but get cover, don’t work up the hill and give her the opportunity to round her race off and she certainly did that,” the winning trainer said. 

Dee said the race did not pan out at all well after jumping from a wide gate. He said he was caught three wide and then pushed even wider on the hometurn. 

“I thought for a stage I would be able to slot in with cover, but I couldn’t,” Dee, who was enjoying his 12th Group 1 victory, said. 

“All that I could do then was keep her comfortable and in a nice rhythm and keep her as comfortable as possible, get around the bend before I asked her the ultimate question. 

“She just absolutely took off. Credit to Grahame and his team for getting her here. 

“I’m sure Grahame mentioned it’s been a bit of an unlucky spring for him, so to get a Group 1 and to top it off, it’s amazing and Grahame has given me a lot of support for a long time now.” 

Magic Time was winning her fourth black-type event yesterday, having landed The Amanda Elliott and the PJ Bell Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) as a three-year-old, before adding to her tally two starts ago in the Nivision Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Rosehill on October 7. 

Bred by Muir Woodside, Magic Time (4 m Hellbent – Time Awaits by Nicconi) was passed in at the 2021 edition of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale after failing to make her $150,000 reserve when offered by John Muir’s Millburn Creek. 

She is out of Group 3 winner Time Awaits (Nicconi), who was bought for Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock for $300,000 at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in 2018.

Further back, this is the same family as Group 2 winner Mystic Chantry (Chanteclair). 

Time Awaits’s colt by Dundeel (High Chaparral), now named Henlein, was bought by Freedman Racing and Julian Blaxland for $300,000 at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale earlier this year and he is unraced. 

In 2022, the mare produced a colt by Maurice (Screen Hero) and was covered by I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), Hellbent’s father and barnmate, in September. 

Magic Time is one of three individual stakes winners for Hellbent, who is standing his fifth season at stud for a fee of $38,500 (inc GST).  

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